Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    13,692

    Space Power to the Fore!

    The solar discs that could power Earth

    It sounds like science fiction: giant solar power stations floating in space that beam down enormous amounts of energy to Earth. And for a long time, the concept – first developed by the Russian scientist, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, in the 1920s – was mainly an inspiration for writers.
    A century later, however, scientists are making huge strides in turning the concept into reality. The European Space Agency has realised the potential of these efforts and is now looking to fund such projects, predicting that the first industrial resource we will get from space is “beamed power”.

    Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, so there’s a lot at stake. From rising global temperatures to shifting weather patterns, the impacts of climate change are already being felt around the globe. Overcoming this challenge will require radical changes to how we generate and consume energy.

    The aim is that solar power stations in space will become a reality in the coming decades
    Renewable energy technologies have developed drastically in recent years, with improved efficiency and lower cost. But one major barrier to their uptake is the fact that they don’t provide a constant supply of energy. Wind and solar farms only produce energy when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining – but we need electricity around the clock, every day. Ultimately, we need a way to store energy on a large scale before we can make the switch to renewable sources.
    Benefits of space

    A possible way around this would be to generate solar energy in space. There are many advantages to this. A space-based solar power station could orbit to face the Sun 24 hours a day. The Earth’s atmosphere also absorbs and reflects some of the Sun’s light, so solar cells above the atmosphere will receive more sunlight and produce more energy.


    A space solar array could consist of one large structure, or many smaller ones gathered together (Credit: Nasa)

    But one of the key challenges to overcome is how to assemble, launch and deploy such large structures. A single solar power station may have to cover as much as 10 sq km (4.9 sq miles) – equivalent to 1,400 football pitches. Using lightweight materials will also be critical, as the biggest expense will be the cost of launching the station into space on a rocket.

    We are currently reliant on materials from Earth, but scientists are also considering using resources from space for manufacturing, such as materials found on the Moon

    ...article continues here: The solar discs that could power Earth - BBC Future
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat lom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:36 PM
    Location
    Trapped in an old mans body
    Posts
    10,155
    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    The Earth’s atmosphere also absorbs and reflects some of the Sun’s light, so solar cells above the atmosphere will receive more sunlight and produce more energy.
    Will need a long cable.. which will have more losses than the absorption of light in the atmosphere
    Last edited by lom; 29-11-2020 at 08:05 AM.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
    qwerty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:11 PM
    Location
    Not far from Ratchada.
    Posts
    1,136
    I believe that the idea is to beam the energy down to a receiver on Earth in the form of microwaves. One drawback of this concept is that by changing the aim of the transmitter, the device changes from an peaceful electrical energy supplier into a beam weapon!

  4. #4
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    สุโขทัย
    Posts
    9,030

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat lom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:36 PM
    Location
    Trapped in an old mans body
    Posts
    10,155
    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty View Post
    I believe that the idea is to beam the energy down to a receiver on Earth in the form of microwaves.
    Energy loss in space is a logarithmic function, radio waves loses energy in a similar way as the wave rings do when you throw a stone in a pond.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat lom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:36 PM
    Location
    Trapped in an old mans body
    Posts
    10,155
    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty View Post
    I believe that the idea is to beam the energy down to a receiver on Earth in the form of microwaves.
    Energy loss in space is logarithmic function, losing energy in a similar way as the wave rings do when you throw a stone in a pond.

    The idea from 1920 is still not solved.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
    Troy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:42 PM
    Location
    In the EU
    Posts
    9,266
    ^ Energy loss in a vacuum?

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat lom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:36 PM
    Location
    Trapped in an old mans body
    Posts
    10,155
    ^ Free-space loss also takes place in vacuum afaik

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
    Takeovers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:42 PM
    Location
    Berlin Germany
    Posts
    6,265
    To constantly beam to the same receivers, the arrays need to be in GEO orbit. It takes gargantuan antennas to send with high efficiency, and gargantuan receiver arrays on Earth. Maybe the US has desert areas to spare. Europe does not. The receivers would have to be in the Sahara, politically very unstable. Using the Sahara it would be equally or more efficient to place the solar arrays on the ground and cover the night with batteries.

    Except for the political problems solar arrays spread along the desert belt from the Sahara to China and Mongolia and build a matching power grid would be efficient.
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat
    OhOh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Last Online
    Today @ 08:23 AM
    Location
    Where troubles melt like lemon drops
    Posts
    21,167
    Space Power to the Fore!-solar-eclipse-scare-jpg


    "Will we still have WIFI Dave"

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •